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Ivey announces I-65 widening, $500M for projects

On Thursday, Governor Kay Ivey unveiled plans for three major interstate projects at a press event at Hoover City Hall, collectively amounting to nearly half a billion dollars. 

She announced the widening of Interstate 65 from Alabaster to Calera, a widening of four-mile stretch of Interstate 59, and a new interchange to connect Interstate 459 to Highway 150. 

“It was exciting to think about this announcement as I drove up 65 this morning, seeing the progress we are making around Clanton and the progress we have already made around Alabaster. And folks, let me tell you, this is just one of many Alabama roads benefiting from our Rebuild Alabama effort,” Governor Ivey said.

RELATED: Lawmakers continue to push for expansion of I-65

A four-mile stretch of Interstate 59 is also slated for widening from I-459 to Chalkville Mountain Road. This $80 million project, financed through ALDOT funds, aims to alleviate congestion and cater to the anticipated traffic surge from the Birmingham Northern Beltline.

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, who has driven the idea for months, said “it’s a start.”

Ainsworth has stepped up as a vocal critic of the Alabama Department of Transportation, advocating for a leadership change and pointing out what he thinks are misplaced priorities.

Ainsworth has said I-65’s traffic conditions “frustrates drivers, hurts tourism, and slows commerce.” 

RELATED: Ainsworth ‘proud’ Trump endorses I-65 widening

The topic even garnered national political treatment with Former President Trump mentioning that he would prioritize the interstate if he were to win in 2024. 

Governor Ivey has made transportation infrastructure a priority since taking office.

In 2019, she enacted the Rebuild Alabama Act, dedicating over $170 million to state transportation. The has since funded 400 miles of roads and 234 road and bridge projects across all 67 counties. Alabama has undertaken over 1,500 projects worth $5 billion.

Grayson Everett is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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